When discussing divorce and its consequences, one of the first things to be considered is: What’s the divorce impact on children? Indeed, the long-term effects of a divorce may be felt not between spouses but by their offspring well into adulthood.

In the midst of divorce proceedings, it would be a common thing for the children to be wondering what is going on. The younger ones would not understand the dynamics of the whole situation, of the possibility that the family will be undergoing an upheaval. While the couple is dealing with the children’s lighting legal aspects of dissolving the marriage, the children might be left at an aunt’s or uncle’s house for weeks at a time, with no clear comprehension as to where Mommy and Daddy went.

If children are witnesses to a fight, a typical response would be for them to wonder what could be done for the shouting to stop. Covering their ears may not be enough to drown out the scary tones of voices. In a child’s disorientation, they may come up with the question, ‘What did I do wrong?’ It is a common tendency, in fact, for the children to lay blame on themselves, especially at an age where authoritative figures can seem to do no wrong. It takes a great deal of effort for the divorcing parents to assuage such notions, but it would still tend to lurk in the child’s consciousness. Only rarely and under the most fortunate circumstances could a divorce impact on children very lightly.

Living with a single parent or with their new partner may be confusing, but a child would tend to adjust, whether or not they like the new arrangement. It may be during adolescence or young adulthood that the effects of the divorce become pronounced through the teenagers’ acts of defiance or of self-isolation. Even as an adult, the child of a broken home may be challenged to get past those barriers through meaningful relationships and even career happiness.

It is not next to impossible for these children to be happy as adults, but this does not mean that all efforts must not be made to heal a marriage on the rocks. Apart from asking ‘How would a divorce impact on children?’ one must also ask if they could not be happy after all with their present spouse, with the right steps taken to heal the rift.

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